Nothing beats experience when it comes to parenting but given that it is the most critical job in the world, it always helps to be exposed to as many scenarios as we can that can teach us a thing or two about parenting. Although it will not make us fully prepared, it will make us better prepared. That's the most valuable thing Return of Superman provides, practical lessons on how to raise a child coupled with cuteness and laughter.
#11- Know your limitations and don't make them suffer for it
Some people don't cook well. Some people aren't good at sports. Some people don't like books. Some people don't eat healthy. Some people don't like art. Just because you are one of those people doesn't mean your children has to be too. Sports is good and your child might have potential in sports or cooking or arts and you're spoiling it because you are not into it.
Know what you cannot do but also recognize the necessity of exposing them to those things. Find a way on how they can eat healthy even if you don't like healthy food. Find a way on how they can get into sports even if you don't like any. Your job is to make sure to make them as well-rounded as they can be not make them a copy of you.
Help them be a better version of you by getting them to experience things that are good for them even if it means you have to go out of your way to get it done.
#12- The "special thing" is hidden in ordinary things
Each child has something special in them, it might not be what you expect or what is obvious but there is something special in them. You have to pay special attention to the seemingly ordinary things they do and you will find something special.
Daehan, Song Il Kook's eldest triplet, turned out to be the most adventurous of the triplets. With three kids, hardly anyone recognized it until they family went to visit an animal park. That is the only time Song Il Kook recalled just how independent Daehan has always been and adventurous whenever he is left alone.
Hwijae also realized that Seojun has emerged to be the physically stronger twin of the two and didn't realize how Seojun demonstrated it in all the little things until Seojun climbed a rope ladder in a park and left Seoeon on his own.
Pay attention to all the little things. Your children's special quality might be in front of you all these time but you're too busy in the big things to notice.
#13- Scold in private
People hate being humiliated. People hate being humiliated in public even more. Children are people and you need to realize that they have pride just like older people. If you want to call them out on something or discipline them, do it in private. It makes them realize just how much you respect them and will also teach them how to respect other people.
Whenever Song Il Kook scolds one of his triplets, he isolates them from the other two. Even if they are family and still young, they still need to be respected even through punishments.
Just because children do something bad doesn't make it acceptable to humiliate them.
#14- Personify objects to teach them to be organize
Parents pick up after their kids. When they play with their toys, it is common for kids to just leave it and move on. It is common because when they are infants, we don't expect them to clean and organize after themselves. They grow up and get used to this behavior.
The child development expert noticed this behavior in Ji-On and told Uhm Taewoong that one way to transition Ji-On from that behavior is to personify objects. When kids throw their toys after using them, tell them their toys are hurt and they must care for it by putting them away properly after using them.
Parents need to see thing the way kids see them. It's not enough to tell them they need to organize their things. You need to give them a reason to do so and that applies in almost everything they do.
#15- They need space
One of the most memorable moments of the triplets is their hike in Jejudo. They went to hike the Yongnuni Oreum volcano with Uhm Taewoong and Ji-on. When the wind started becoming strong, Taewoon and Ji-on decided to go back and wait for the Song family in their car.
On the other hand, Daehan started walking ahead of everyone. When his father asked him to wait for them, he said he wanted to go far ahead and he did. He reached the peak ahead of everyone and spent time alone. Who know what he is thinking but his father realized that his kids are starting to develop their own interest, starting to yearn for some time away from the comfort of his protection and he needs to let them be.
Let them explore things on their own even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. As long as you know they are safe, give them the space they need to discover who they are. They can only reveal to you what they know about themselves.
#16- Let them figure out how to deal with pain, rejection and disappointments
Parents try to shield their children from pain. In fact, if parents could only create a crytal bubble where their kids could live and get everything they want to shield them away from all bad things, they would. The problem is parents can't.
Hwijae, Song Il Kook and Sunghoo know this very well. They let their children join competitions and interact with other children and stand aside when their children lose, get rejected or disappointed. They let them figure out a way to handle the hurt and the pain. They run to their side when they call out but not before they give them some time alone first. There is a famous scene when Seojun got scolded by Daehan when Seojun wanted to get Daehan's water. Seojun almost burst out crying but Hwijae didn't comfort Seojun right away. He gave his son a moment before giving Seojun his glass of water.
Song Il Kook also allows his triplets to compete by themselves and let nature takes its course. He knows that his boys are tough but will invitably experience some disappointment.
One of the worst things you can teach your children is be dependent on you because you cannot be there everytime they need someone to lean on. The only person that will be constantly be with them is themselves so teach them how to survive alone.
#17- Respect their personality
As you get to know your child better, you will discover things about him or her that will surprise. Maybe he is not as athletic as you are or not as timid as you are or not as girlie as you are. Whatever he or she turns out to be, you need to allow them to become that and just guide them in becoming the best version of themselves.
Sometimes, parents so want their children to follow their footsteps that they assume the child will follow their footsteps. Uhm Taewoong's wife is now discovering that Ji-On might have no interest in pursuing ballet and she has learned to accept that. She just wants to make sure that Ji-On will have the opportunity to pursue her dreams.
You are not raising children to become you. You are raising children that will have their own identity and live their own life.
#18 Experience new things together
You will grow with your children so try to explore the world with your children. As you travel with your kid and go through new experiences, you will become friends which will come in handy when they finally live out their lives on their own. You will not always be needed and that might create some distance between you and your kid. When you become a friend to them, no matter how independent they become, you will always be their friend.
Parents don't stop being parents but children do move on and develop a sense of independence. If you want to remain relevant, do things with them that they will only normally do with their friends. You will know them better and you will always be a companion they will want to spend time with forever
#19- Stand Your Ground Even in Public Places
Parents give in to their children when they throw tantrums in public simply because the parent doesn't want to be embarassed. Well, you need to treat it as a collateral damage. Giving in to your kid when they throw tantrums in public places make them realize that if they want something bad, all they have to do is throw tantrums in public places.
stand your ground and go through the embrassment once to make them realize that no means no, regardless of where you are.
You just have to be firm not only when it is easy BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS HARD.
#20- You're not enough, deal with it
Yes, you want to be superman to your kids but even Superman couldn't save the world all the time. You just have to accept that it takes a village to raise a kid. You need other people's help and other people will influence your kid. There will be things you will not be able to provide them and it's not just material things.
Deal with the fact that they will love and depend on other people too. Don't pull them away from others. Instead, welcome these people and guide them towards the "right people" they should have a relationship with.
No matter what you do, you can never be everything to your kid so stop trying. Instead, be the best you can be and for the rest, guide them. If they are to have friends, try to steer them towards the right company. If they are to idolize celebrities, expose them to different genre, artists and explain to them as much as you can about the art and celebrity.